United Way in 2008 invests $5 million
Associate area director, United Way of Gwinnett County
Special to GwinnettForum
DULUTH, Ga., Dec. 23, 2008 -- This year, through the collaborative
effort of hundreds of community volunteers and corporate partners,
and a strong regional network, United Way community impact funds
of $5 million were invested in Gwinnett County. These funds are
used to support more than 140 service programs assisting more than
These investments centered on four core groups:
- children and youth,
- people at risk,
- hard-working families, and
Investments also targeted special initiatives to end chronic homelessness
and ensure children ages birth through six are prepared to learn
Of the community impact investments, 24 percent went to 18 early
learning programs serving, 4,691 children and families. These programs'
strategies include quality child care, parent leadership skills
and support, child abuse and neglect prevention and intervention.
Emphasis is placed on children ages birth through three years, which
is the stage when nearly 90 percent of brain development occurs.
Some 46 percent of Georgia kindergarteners come to school at risk
for failure. In many cases low-income children are unprepared to
enter school and begin one to two years behind.
Twenty-seven percent of Community Impact Investments went to 32
programs serving more than 31,000 youth. The purpose of these programs
is to ensure youth are successful in learning. Program strategies
include quality after-school programs, family engagement, and youth
leadership. Studies show that every dollar invested in after-school
programming saves $7 in future remedial education, welfare and prison
costs. Studies also show that when parents are involved in education,
students avoid high-risk behavior and have better grades. Some 21
percent of parents say they would enroll their child in a quality
after-school program if one were available.
United Way directs 20 percent of Community Impact Investments to
36 programs for people at risk. These programs serve more than 10,000
people annually. Program strategies focus on helping people cope
with their substance abuse, mental health, and physical health issues.
In addition, programs seek to help people with disabilities as well
as aiding senior citizens to live independently. Spending on health
related services in the United States is expected to nearly double
during the next decade from $2.1 trillion in 2006 to $4.1 trillion
in 2016 as indicated by a published report in Health Affairs.
Twenty-nine percent of Community Impact Investments support 49
programs serving more than 31,000 low to moderate income hard-working
individuals and families in Gwinnett. Program strategies include
homeownership education, housing retention, interim housing, transitional
housing and case management. In the fiscal year 2007, United Way
2-1-1 received more than 18,000 calls for help from Gwinnett residents.
Most frequent requests were for utility, rent and food assistance.
By the Numbers:
Early Learning / Children: Children are ready for school
- $1.1 million. This includes quality child care, parent leadership
skills and support and child abuse and neglect prevention and
Youth: Youth are successful in learning - $1.2 million.
Areas focused on were quality after-school programs, family engagement
and youth leadership.
People at Risk: People at risk are coping and living independently
- $880,000. These subjects were included: homelessness, substance
abuse, physical health, mental health, home-based support, and
Low-income: Hard-working families are financially stable
- $1.3 million. This includes case management, financial stability,
women's legacy impact, credit awareness, homeownership education,
transitional employment, micro-enterprises, interim housing, and
Specific Care Program: Donor designated gifts - $700,000.
List of favorite carols from choirmasters
Editor and Publisher
DEC. 23, 2008 -- Your favorite Christmas carol depends on what
type of music you like. There are people with favorite songs emphasizing
Santa, others more religious melodies , and even favorite rocker
However, we were surprised at what choral directors recently picked
as their favorite carol of all time. Topping the list was In
the Bleak Midwinter! It's a beautiful song, with wonderful words
and music, but we would not have thought it the very top.
1. In the Bleak Midwinter
2. In Dulci Jubilo (Good Christian Men, Rejoice).
3. A Spotless Rose, a 16th Century German hymn.
4. Bethlehem Down. 1927, submitted for a Daily Telegraph
contest, which won!
5. Lully, Lulla, a 16th century carol.
6. Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day, a 19th century English
7. There is No Rose, from 1420, another traditional carol.
8. O Come All Ye Faithful, a favorite of many. The music
was a Portuguese song, with words from an Englishman in 1841.
9. Of the Father's Heart Begotten, from the 5th century.
10. What Sweeter Music, the most recent, from 1987, by
What did you notice of this list of carols?
Well, some favorites of mine were certainly not included. The first
question might be "Where's Silent Night? Or Noel?
Or Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! Or It Came Upon a Midnight
Clear? And God Rest You Merry Gentlemen, or Little
Town of Bethlehem. And (another one we like) Good King Wenceslas
and Away in a Manger? But remember those chosen were
not popular favorites, you might say, but the choice of professional
musicians, choirmasters from England and the United States.
Then, there are none of the more modern "commercial"
Christmas songs, such as Jingle Bells, Rudolph, I Saw Mommy Kissing
Santa Claus, or The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Now, let's turn to the top choice, In the Bleak Midwinter.
It was originally a poem by Christina Rossetti, who lived from 1830-94,
and who was sister to the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. She was
known for her religious poetry.
This poem of hers focuses on the forlorn Jesus, entirely unrecognized
at birth, and loved by an unknown-to-the-world mother and her distinctive
husband. Though the world knew little of this birth, "Angels
and archangels/All gathered there" around the new babe, says
the poet. The poem gained attention in the early 20th century when
Gustav Holst (1874-1934), an English composer, set it to music.
Now read the words of In the Bleak Midwinter.
In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone:
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Our God, heaven cannot hold him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign:
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty,
Enough for him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day,
A breastful of milk,
And a manger full of hay:
Enough for him, whom angel
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man
I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give him
Give my heart.
Merry Christmas to all!
* * * * *
One more note: Bill McLemore, who draws cartoons for GwinnettForum,
remains at Emory University Hospital, but has been moved out of
the Intensive Care Unit. We ask your continued prayers for his recovery.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com
to you at no cost to readers. The Gwinnett Village Community
Improvement District was formed in mid-2006, and is a self taxing
revitalization district that includes just under 500 commercial
property owners with a property value of over $1 billion dollars.
Gwinnett Village CID includes the southwestern part of Gwinnett
County including properties along Jimmy Carter Boulevard, Buford
Highway, Indian Trail, Beaver Ruin, Graves, and Singleton Road.
Gwinnett Village is the third CID to be created in Gwinnett County
and is the largest of all 13 CID's in the state. Gwinnett Village's
mission is to improve property values through increased security,
a decrease in traffic congestion, and general improvements to the
curb appeal of the area. For more information visit www.gwinnettvillage.com
or call 770-449-6515.
about garbage after judge issues injunction
County Administrator Jock Connell wants to reassure Gwinnett residents
that garbage service will continue in unincorporated areas after
January 1. Superior Court Judge Michael Clark recently issued an
injunction against the Gwinnett County's proposed solid waste plan
that would have taken effect after the first of the year. As a result
of this temporary order, the county will continue to operate under
the old garbage collection system, which allows customers to contract
with the hauler of their choosing. Existing haulers will be able
to continue to operate in the county.
Connell said: "Clearly the court has made a decision that immediately
affects how Gwinnett County manages solid waste and as a result,
collection will continue under the previous plan. The Board of Commissioners
also heard loud and clear from the public. While we still believe
in the basic concepts of the new solid waste plan - reducing waste
in our landfills and increasing recycling opportunities - we will
look at adjustments to the plan in the next year keeping in mind
concerns gleaned from our constituents."
A call center has been set up at County offices to field questions
from residents. That number is (770) 822-7141 and will be activated
at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec ember 23. Residents can also visit www.gwinnettcounty.com
for more information about garbage service.
"I would reiterate that the court order is temporary and that
the solid waste management issue will continue to play out over
the coming months," said Connell. He added that County officials
are working to set up a meeting with haulers as soon as possible
Evermore CID raises
security patrols in commercial corridor
The Evermore CID (formerly U.S. Highway 78 CID) has been providing
security patrols for district businesses throughout the U.S. Highway
78 commercial corridor since 2003. It used to utilized a combination
of off-duty Gwinnett County law enforcement officers coordinating
with City of Snellville police. More recently, the Evermore CID
has contracted with a private security company, Plaza Security,
to provide a dedicated Evermore Security Patrol Car and officer.
As with previous holiday seasons, the CID has doubled the dedicated
security patrols including daytime and evening shifts for district
The most recent addition to the Evermore Security Program is a
dedicated marked patrol car. The Evermore marked patrol car will
establish a greater presence urging the criminal element to beware
while creating a safer environment. "Keeping Evermore safe
for business owners, employees, area shoppers and visitors is one
of the most important programs that we offer, especially during
the holidays," Evermore CID Executive Director Brett Harrell
says. Evermore has more than just the holidays in mind when planning
future public safety efforts and is coordinating a comprehensive
security strategy to ensure increased public safety for the future.
Additional information regarding the Evermore CID can be located
on the website at www.evermorecid.org.
County purchases land
for additional park near Mountain Park
Gwinnett County Commissioners have approved buying land at 4925
Five Forks Trickum Road for a future Mountain Park-area park. The
county will spend $3 million to buy 25.6 acres from the family of
J.B. Williams. The County agreed to name the park in his memory
and to preserve a large oak tree on the property. The land is near
and across Five Forks Road from Mountain Park Park, which itself
consists of 43 acres.
J.B. Williams grew up in Snellville on land that is now the Eastside
Medical Center. He moved to Lilburn in 1942, after marrying Newtie
Joe Wesley, a Lilburn native. At first, he was a sharecropper on
the property before buying it in 1944. The Williams family remodeled
the 1882 house and raised their son, Bobby, there.
Today, Bobby Williams has fond memories of his childhood home and
the land where he played for many years. "It was great to grow
up with lots of open land," said Williams. He built a house
next door where he raised his two daughters. "It's getting
rare to see land like this preserved in Gwinnett County these days."
The new park will complement the existing park there that stays
busy year-round with football, baseball, softball, tennis and skateboarding."
A master plan in 2004 identified the Lilburn area as needing more
recreational space. The County will organize a citizen steering
committee soon to begin planning for the new park. For more information
call (770) 822-8840.
becomes CEO of Graphic Communication Corp.
Ann Stallard has been elected CEO and chairman of the Board of
Graphic Communications Corporation of Lawrenceville, a majority
female owned and managed business. The firm specializes in business-to-business
marketing materials, educational and health communications, large-format
graphics and eCommerce development for online Print-on-Demand websites.
The firm serves companies across the Southeast and around the nation.
Hoyt Tuggle of Lawrenceville remains as president of the firm.
Stallard, with more than 30 years of experience in the printing
and graphics industry, has served as Executive Vice President of
Graphic Communications Corporation. A graduate of the University
of Kentucky, she is a recipient of the Turknett Leadership CEO/Partner
Award for Ethical Leadership and a member of the Board of Trustees,
United Way of America. She has also served on the world board of
the YWCA and has long been an advocate for women on boards and in
executive roles, as well as a mentor for many women-owned businesses.
Stallard has been recognized often for her entrepreneurial leadership
in Metropolitan Atlanta through numerous awards and articles. The
US Small Business Administration once named her as "Georgia's
Women In Business Advocate of the Year." She served on the
White House National Initiative on Women's Business Ownership Task
Force and, she was the first businesswoman to be elected National
President of the YWCA in 1992. She lives in DeKalb County and is
a member of All Saints Episcopal Church..
Graphic Communications Corporation is one of a select group of women-owned
commercial printers nationwide that can also provide eco-conscious
customers with FSC Certified paper. The FSC seal ensures that the
paper is a product of well-managed, sustainable forests worldwide
and that the Chain of Custody-from forest to pulp manufacturer to
paper manufacturer to paper merchant to printer-has not been broken.
Graphic Communications Corporation was founded in 1972 and is a
member of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Printing and Imaging
Association of Georgia (PIAG) and the Printing Industry of America
(PIA/GATF). For more information, visit www.gccprint.com.
Realtors give 1,000
stuffed animals to local charities
The Community Service Committee for the Northeast Atlanta Metro
Association of Realtors (NAMAR) has done it again! For the last
20 years, the committee, headed by Elaine Carpenter of Re/Max Advanced
in Braselton, has been hosting the Santa Project with Sheltering
Arms Day Care Centers in Duluth, Lawrenceville and Norcross.
Each year, they collect stuffed animals and host a party at the
three centers where Santa delivers a stuffed animal to each child.
The children's ages ran from infant to 5 years old. The volunteer
Santa's and Elves were Realtors or affiliates from NAMAR.
However, due to the overwhelming donations from NAMAR members, not
only will this Christmas be brighter for the children at Sheltering
Arms, but also for many other children in Gwinnett and neighboring
Counties. NAMAR received more than 1,000 stuffed animals. Groups
being helped included Gwinnett County Battered Women's Shelter,
Hall County Battered Women's Shelter, Jackson County DFAC's Office,
Rainbow Village, Quinn House and local area police stations.
- An invitation: What
Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your
best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have
read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus
what book you plan to read next. --eeb
Elberton was site
of first Christmas tree in Georgia
The "Christmas Tree House" was the home of George Loehr,
where it is said that in 1858 the first Christmas tree was erected
in Georgia. Local schools and organizations decorate Christmas trees
in front of the house every December. The building is now a place
of business. (Photograph by Melinda Smith Mullikin, New Georgia
Ah, sometimes our thinking
forgets the most basic of ideas
"When we were children, we were grateful to those who filled
our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God
for filling our stockings with legs?"
-- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) English essayist,
novelist, journalist and poet, via Cindy Evans, Duluth.
Send your thoughts, 55-word short stories, pet peeves
or comments on any issue to Gwinnett
Forum for future publication.
MORE: Contact Gwinnett Forum at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2008, Gwinnett Forum.com. Gwinnett Forum
is an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible
social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett
County, Ga. USA.